Wednesday, April 25, 2012
We all want to be happy, feel good and have satisfaction in life. Not only we want to be happy, we also want to be seen as a happy person. But really, what is actually happiness? What is the true meaning of HAPPINESS ... Why it seems so hard to be happy? Why tragedy always befall me? Why life is so hard? Why happiness eludes me?
Well, the nature of human being is to seek happiness and avoid sadness in his life. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone longs for happiness and joy. Everyone wants satisfaction. If there are people who say, I do not want to be happy, he should be allowed to be sent to psychiatric hospital for evaluation or treatment.
Why? Of course no sane person want purposely to be in a sorrow state and don't want happiness in his life. Sane people had always longing for happiness. In fact, whatever endeavor that has been undertaken, planned and performed by human being is geared towards achieving success and happiness.
Why happiness is so hard and elusive to some people? Perhaps they do not fully understand the science of happiness. While happiness is a simple straight forward thing, some might get confused or maybe lost while searching it. You must be able to differentiate happiness and worldly pleasure.
The human quest for happiness is most often not to be fully achieved just through money and material things and endless pleasure. There are many people that do not know what actually happiness is and they do not have a clue of how to get it. If we seek something that we don't know, something vague and unsure of, of course we will not find it easily. Therefore it is reasonable to say that the search for happiness must start by finding the meaning of happiness itself first, agree ?
So what is the meaning of happiness?
According to Oxford dictionary, happy is defined as feeling and showing pleasure or contentment.
According to Merriam-Webster, happy is defined as enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment.
We could see that happiness could meant different thing to different people.
Basically, happiness is a thing inside our heart, how you feel. How satisfied you are. You can pretend that you are happy although you are not. Yet, there is no specific instrument that can gauge the level of happiness. However there are signs of happiness that could be observed. They could be as simple as honest smile, peace of mind, kind heart or calm manner.
Some believe that the meaning of happiness is subjective, which is quite true. It may vary or differ from one individual to another. For the sick, being health is happiness. But when he is healthy, happiness is not enough just being in health state. He has shifted happiness to something else like having more money for instance. When he have enough money, he want a woman. When he have a woman, he want another beautiful woman.
For rich guys who have the means to buy boy's toy such as Ferrari car, they still not stop there. When he got Ferrari, he want Lamborghini for instance. For this group, happiness is a "moving target" that is not specific and not objective, not something that can be put in a specific figure.
Naturally, happiness is always associated or connected with money and material. Got enough money and you shall be happy, all problems solved, really? Are you really happy when you got US 1 million dollar? Of course you can settle a lot of problem with that money. I think I should be happy if I could buy my dad a new car. Still, it is more about heart, kindness and honesty.
We live in a world of capitalism where money is king. Almost all things work with money as fuel. Basically certain amount of money could settle some problems and money is of course important to lead a comfortable life. But happiness does not stop there. Happiness is more than that.
Love is also related with happiness.
We should be happy when we got our true love. We shall happy when people we admire got the same feeling towards us. We shall happy when our love is replied openly. We shall happy when we got beautiful woman as our spouse, really? Are you happy suppose you got Angelina Jolie as your wife? or any woman of your dream? Life does not stop there!
While happiness is about accumulating cars, medals or money for some, there is also the pessimists group. They think that there is no absolute happiness in this world. Living life is simply to suffer. They argue that people are naturally born with tears, with weeping sorrow and at the end they will be sent to the grave with tears also. Happiness is simply an utopia, illusion or pure fantasy. It does not exist in reality, at least in this mortal life. That's why some might resorts to suicide to find "real happiness" in the next world.
So really, is happiness about internal or external factor?
Before we get the answer about the place of happiness, we must be clear about the source of happiness. Happiness comes from where? From riding a Ferrari or having the most beautiful woman as your wife or from having to live in Buckingham Palace? Is happiness comes from outside to inside (outside-in) or from the inside to outside (inside-out)? Some believe that happiness comes from having to own anything their heart want at whim.
So many people felt that happiness is sourced from external factors. It is very easy to assume that happiness is sourced from having the wealth, power, money (how much?), good look, famous name and ranks of a person. This group felt that if a person successfully become wealthy, important statesman, in a noble family, being beautiful, become dignitaries and admired scholars so they should automatically be happy after achieving all these, right?
Is that true guys? If that is the case, why many people are still struggling to find happiness while they have all the means to own properties, powers but still not content. Why are they still not happy? Because the heart is sick. Guys, you can have all the world for yourself, but happiness is about your heart.
Let us make a simple analysis.
We do not analyse the poor, the ugly, the unpopular guys, just assume that they all unhappy. We analyse whether the life of the wealthy, handsome/beautiful, aristocratic, dignitaries and scholars whether they are really happy or partially happy or not happy at all?
Let's see the reality of life of millionaires and celebrities that can have everything they want.
Look at the rich. The rich men may have millions of dollars, vast properties, but still they cannot avoid sickness, being old, caught with sadness, misery and eventually die. This happened to Cristina Onasis, heir of the massive wealth of his father, Aristotle Onasis. Christina died at a very young age despite billions of dollars inherited and owning vast properties.
In reality, it is the "rules of life" that people do not get everything he wants. No one of us can avoid being unhappy with something at certain points in our life. Life is a test that befall all people, regardless of rank, wealth and family. We all shall eventually die, happy with that?
Look at popular stars. They are beautiful, and have a perfect life and plenty of money to burn, but cannot escape the hardship life throws at them. Just take a look at the likes of Madonna, Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and Elvis Presley among others that were condemned as a result of their bad or weird behaviour. Lady Diana Spencer has all the packages of any women's dream, but finally died in a tragic and sad state of affairs. Whitney Houston died a tragic death after an overdose.
John Lennon the mega star, cannot avoid getting killed while he was still adored by millions of fans. Kurt Cobain killed himself in search of real "Nirvana". Elizabeth Taylor lived in the trauma of ageing and beauty regime that claimed his once "almost perfect" body proportions. Kim Kardashian married for a very brief period, what happened?
Look at people with power. Its not the bad luck that befell the renowned statesmen and aristocrats such as President Hosni Mubarak (Egyptians), the Shah of Iran (Iran), Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines), King Louis XVI (France), Tsars of Russia, Colonel Gaddafi of Libya and others. They live like a dream. Yet they still face a tragic life. There are pain, humiliation, betrayal, injustice and other tests have been beating them to their knees, making those people living in wealth, fame, adored statesmen and other scholars being humbled in their never end race in search for glory and happiness.
What is the proof that they are still not happy?
What is the evidence that this type of people are still do not happy? We do not need to argue here. Just by viewing through the mainstream media alone is enough evidence that those who do have it all still do not happy with their current life. Strange isn't it, when celebrities from Hollywood, those who have beautiful look, multi billion dollar property, fame, but still facing variety of chronic problems? Divorces, drug abuse, depression, moral breakdown and many more mishaps are just among many problems happening to them from time to time.
Those involved with alcohol, divorce, betrayal, drugs, crime, mental illness and suicide are definitely not happy. If they are happy with their wealth, good name, appearance and the vast properties owned, they would or should not be involved with all the chaotic situation of the soul and personal turmoil. They should not live in and out of rehab centre like LiLo, for instance. There's must be something "missing" in the middle of those popularity, wealth, and everything they have.
Is that really true that the hardship and tribulations of life are the actual cause of our loss of happiness? Let us look at this issue more closely. What is the true tragedy that can wipes the sense of a happiness in this life? Do you think that life test such as sickness, old age, insult from people, poverty, failure, defeat, loss of dear person and other tests are reasons for us to loose happiness? The answer is no, life test and hardship is not the reason for us to loose happiness.
If we assume that the test, the hardship we face in life will cause loss of happiness in life, we are actually among the pessimists who think that there is no happiness in the world. Why is that? Because the reality of life is to be tested. Life is full of trial and tribulation. Life is a constant struggle between good and evil. Life is about happiness and also sadness. It's illogical to be always happy or always sad.
That is the rules of life that can not be avoided by anybody! If it is true that tragedy causes a loss of happiness, then no one will be a happy man, as all humans must be tested (face hardship).
On that principle, the test (life hardship) actually does not cause loss of happiness in life. As a parable to this, suppose we put lime juice representing test of life (life hardship), while the injured hand representing a sick heart. Sick heart is the heart that is full of unhealthy things such as pride, jealousy, anger, frustration, despair, resentment, fear, love the world (materialistic), crazy for praise, greed and other negative things.
Now, if a lime juice is placed onto the normal hands, then there will not any pain feeling whatsoever. However, if the lime water is dripped on the injured bloody hand, the pain felt might be unbearable. So what causes the burning sensation? Is it the lime water or wound in the hand? Of course the answer is, the wound in the hand is the cause of pain. The wound in the hand is symbolic for a sick heart, while the lime is symbolic for the test of life. Sick heart just cannot withstand the hardship of life.
From that parable, we can say that being poor, being insulted, is not the actual cause of loss of happiness, what really be the cause of loss of happiness is the angry, frustration, inpatient heart is the real cause of the loss of happiness. The sickness of the heart itself is the real cause of unhappiness.
It's about our heart. The thing inside of us. If your heart is strong and not wounded (like the wounded hand), the tribulation of life will not make you pain, sad and unhappy. If you got strong heart, you will still be happy in facing all those life tribulation.
With all the above arguments it is evident that the notion that happiness comes from outside to inside is untrue. This is because the factor of "healthy" heart clearly more dominant in determining a person's happiness or sadness, compared with any external factors.
This indirectly indicates that happiness comes from inside to outside - happiness comes from the heart. No matter what is your station in life, how much money you have, what is the car you drive, if you decide to be happy, you shall be happy. Happiness is as simple as that!
This is the true meaning of happiness
Plain and simple happiness is to have a tough heart brave enough to face any test in life. A content heart. Happiness is to have a heart of steel, we could say. That's why we said that successful and happy people are made from sterner stuff. Happiness comes from having a faith in God. From believing in good things to come. From acting good to you and other people around you. From having a positive mindset. From giving to others.
Life is beautiful. There are lots of bounty in it. Yes, we do need some materials to live comfortably. But we must know the priorities. Live your life to the fullest. Go out and prove your worth, but be yourself. You have every right to be happy.
What are your definition of happiness. Are you happy now? My definition of happiness is living a life free from financial ties, which is living from pay check to pay check.
When I can go meet my dearest friend, I shall be happy.
Lastly, this is what Kurt Cobain said about happiness - "I'm so happy coz today I've met my friend..".